Thai Activist gains freedom soon
Jatupat 27, was charged with lese-majesty in December 2016, just two days after the king ascended the throne, for sharing a controversial BBC biography of the new king on Facebook.
Jatupat was the only one among 2,600 other people who shared the same article online to be arrested and prosecuted, in a move that singled him out for his anti-military activism.
Thailand has been under a military regime since the 2014 coup.
The general election in March is expected to pave the way for semi-democratic rule beginning in June.
Jatupat’s release on Friday followed the 66-year-old king’s decision to pardon him and 50,000 other inmates earlier on the occasion of his long-delayed coronation, an elaborate affair lasting three days that cost an estimated 31 million dollars.
But his release only comes one month early, as Jatupat would have fully served his two-and-a-half-year sentence in June.
Thailand’s lese-majesty law, which prohibits criticism and insults against the king, queen, heir apparent and regent, is among the toughest in the world.
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